Leaves of Three – Leave it Be

Seasonal Tips, Skin Steward Health Care

The summer months are the best time to get reacquainted with the outdoors! However fun summer may be, it does have its cautionary tales. Brushing up against all those greens of nature may not always leave you a happy camper, and sometimes, just the opposite. Poison ivy, if you’re allergic to it, can leave you with a very uncomfortable, itchy, and sometimes painful rash.

Unfortunately, there are no products – akin to bug spray – that prevent the skin from absorbing the oils that are omitted by poison ivy plants. The first step to preventing contraction of poison ivy is to become familiar with how the plant looks as poison ivy is rather identifiable. Poison ivy leaves are shiny and always occur in threes.

How to Treat a Poison Ivy Rash

If you do happen to notice a rash emerging on your skin, accompanied by a great deal of itchiness, you may be one of the unlucky ones and should follow these steps to keep the rash at bay:

  • Clean the affected area as any remaining oils can cause the rash to spread
  • Don’t scratch any blisters, so you don’t break the skin, which can allow bacteria to creep in, and may also cause scarring
  • Apply over-the-counter corticosteroid cream for the first few days
  • Consider taking antihistamines as an allergic reaction causes this type of rash
  • Take cold showers and baths, as well as apply cold compresses to help with discomfort and ease itchiness

If the rash progresses causing widespread discomfort and/or blisters, be sure to contact a doctor. A physician will be able to prescribe you with a stronger steroid that will help with itchiness and inflammation.

 

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